Monday, February 27, 2012

Pining for Pinning

The latest social media creating a stir with social networkers? That would be Pinterest. What is Pinterest? The site which is nearly a year post-beta, self-describes as a "virtual pinboard." Essentially users are socially sharing photos (called pins) they find across the web with their followers on virtual boards they create and customize to their liking.

There are countless, creative ways to organize pins on your boards to share your interests and tell your story. A couple of my favorite examples include both individual and enterprise pins. Speaking of a couple - what a loving and lovely example using pins to share the story of a successful marriage proposal! And, these SxSW survival guide pins from advertising agency, GSD&M are clever, useful and well-executed.

A word of caution - like any other social network - avoid out-and-out self promotion. It's still about being social, and not about broadcasting your brand. So, how can you use pins to enhance the context of your online community and brand story?
  • Follow other users. Comment on and like the pins of users that are in your other social networking communities and new users, too.
  • Generically speaking, pin images that are complimentary to your business, products and services.
  • Obviously, use keywords in your tags to describe the images your pinning as they relate to your business, products and services.
  • Customize your board names to reflect what's important to you and about you as a brand.
  • Is there content on your website that you want to make shareable? Consider adding the "pin it" plugin to your site.
  • If you can, go "behind-the-scenes" at your company and share photos of the experience. Your followers will enjoy seeing aspects of your business operations that aren't immediately obvious to them when they patron your business.
  • Did you know you can pin videos, not just static images?
  • Give credit, give credit, give credit! But, don't pin copyrighted images.
Before you get started with individual or enterprise pinning, educate yourself on snags that you may run into. Pinterest even offers idiot-proof etiquette recommendations for users. Are there copyright concerns with pinning and socially sharing other people's photographs and work? Of course there are! A recent post on Hubpages gives a clear explanation of the dangers and what to be alert for when you're pinning. It is a tenuous balance that all users (both individual and enterprise) need to be cognizant of in order to pin safely and avoid litigation.

Will we be pining for social pinning long-term? Only time and pins will tell...

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